The Makers of HORMEL BLACK LABEL Bacon Create First-Ever Bacon Smoked On Elite Maple Wood From College Basketball Tournament Courts


By The Minneapolis Egotist / /

BBDO MW and FleishmanHillard announce the ultimate basketball and bacon collaboration

This March, BBDO MW and FleishmanHillard partnered with longtime client Hormel Foods to get die-hard basketball fans closer to the tournament than ever. The agencies today launched a campaign to promote a first-of-its-kind bacon smoked with the actual northern maple wood used to make the final floors of the 2023 college basketball tournament.
 The idea came to life when the agencies brought together the makers of HORMEL® BLACK LABEL® Bacon and Connor® Sports, the official court supplier of March’s annual tournament. Connor Sports trimmed the ends of the actual wood used to make this year’s courts, creating hardwood maple chips to be used by the smoked meat experts at HORMEL BLACK LABEL Bacon. Smoked low and slow over the northern maple wood chips, Hardcourt Smoked HORMEL BLACK LABEL Bacon infuses the savory strips fans love with the rarified smoke of real March hoops hardwood.

“HORMEL BLACK LABEL Bacon is the most elite bacon, and we always want the brand to show up in big, bold, unexpected ways,” Dan Margulis, Executive Creative Director and Partner, FleishmanHillard said. “Using the real hardwood maple from the most elite floors to smoke the bacon felt perfectly unexpected, but really exciting and right.”

From now through Monday, Mar. 20, fans can take a shot at the ultimate taste of victory by registering for a chance to win one of only 68 commemorative packages of Hardcourt Smoked HORMEL BLACK LABEL Bacon at Each commemorative pack includes a 24-ounce stack of Hardcourt Smoked HORMEL BLACK LABEL Bacon and a beautifully designed certificate of authenticity, collectible maple wood chips from the floors and coupons for more HORMEL BLACK LABEL Bacon products. BBDO MW also produced a video about the promotion that will be featured in paid and organic social as well as on the sweepstakes landing page.

“March is a time of incredible stories in basketball. It was exciting to be able to tell a highly original one of our own,” said Eric Hansen, Creative Director at BBDO MW. “From the design of the limited-edition product package to the launch video, we aimed to capture the authenticity and rarity of this court-smoked bacon at every touchpoint.”

The winners will be notified and receive their bacon and commemorative package just in time for the final games played in early April. How better to watch the games than with delicious bacon smoked with the wood you’re seeing on the court in Houston and Dallas.

“For the first time, college hoops superfans won’t just live and breathe the games this March, but they’ll have a chance to eat it, too,” said Nick Schweitzer, Senior Brand Manager for HORMEL BLACK LABEL Bacon. “Even if your bracket is busted early, you can still get the taste of sweet victory with our limited-edition bacon.”

Assistant VP Retail Marketing, Bacon: Scott Weisenbeck
Marketing Director: Amy Sand
Sr. Brand Manager: Nick Schweitzer
Associate Brand Manager: Haley Tigner

Advertising Agency
Chief Creative Officer: Brock Davis
Creative Director: Eric Hansen
Design Director: Ian McAllister
Senior Art Director: Jacob Carlsrud
Senior Copywriter: Josh Gloe
Executive Producer: Peter McLarnan
Group Account Director: Ali Siviter
Account Director: Kelli Bovin
Account Manager: Erin Michels
Director of Project Management: Jamie McKnight 
Senior Project Manager: Kearstin Richter
Project Manager: Jeshteshver Kachru

Public Relations Agency
Executive Creative Director, Partner: Dan Margulis
Senior Vice President, Partner: Steve Hickok
Senior Vice President: Annie Dubsky
Account Supervisor: Lizzie Duffey

Video Production
Production Company: Drive-Thru
Executive Producer: Beth Wilson
Director: Patrick Pierson
Editor: Mick Uzendoski
Color: Company 3
Music: Hifi

Limited Edition Giveaway Production
Production Company: Point B


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